Facebook seems to be on a roll post the IPO. Facebook pages are being enriched with new features and updates like never before and I must say they have been really impressive.
Continuing the trend, Facebook unleashed another new feature today, Unpublished Posts for Facebook pages.
Eh? What’s an Unpublished Post?
Till now, you could only compose a post and publish it or schedule it for later.
But now Facebook has updated its Pages API and has enabled pages to create unpublished posts. As the name suggests, the posts won’t go live to your community.
A Word From Facebook Pages API
Presently, this feature can only be availed through Facebook Pages API. This is what Facebook has to say about this new addition:
Updating unpublished/scheduled posts is possible by using the Post ID that is returned when creating a post. We support two types of updates on such posts:
- Publishing a previously unpublished post. (Unpublishing a post is not supported)
- Changing the schedule (i.e. Rescheduling, Adding schedule to an unpublished post, Removing schedule from a post thus making it unpublished.)
To publish an unpublished post, simply set the is_published variable to true via an API call.
The unpublished posts can be queried through the FQL Stream table with parameter is_published=0, example:
select post_id, source_id, message from stream whereFollowing is an example for querying both published and unpublished posts:
source_id=<pageid> and is_published=0
select post_id, source_id, message from stream where
source_id=<pageid> and (is_published=0 or is_published=1)
The scheduled posts can be queried directly using the Post ID through the Graph API.
Any promotable posts (i.e. published + unpublished, including scheduled posts) can be queried via the endpoint graph.facebook.com/<pageid>/promotable_posts
What’s So Cool About It?
- Imagine that you’re organizing a contest on Facebook and you have already asked your community many times to join it. Now you are facing a situation where you want to promote your contest with a new post but can’t afford to annoy your community.All you have to do now is to compose a post (image, text, video, link, anything), keep it unpublished and promote it via the Facebook Ads platform. This way, you can reach out to your non-fans without annoying your community.
- You can also use this feature to test the potential of your future posts. Creating several unpublished posts and then testing their response via ads will give you an idea about how effective they might be once published.
It has been reported, however, that premium advertisers have been trying out this feature on their Facebook pages since February.